eLetters

169 e-Letters

  • Fundamental error in "Trends in serious head injuries..." Cook and Sheikh 2003
    James D Annan

    Dear Editor

    The main conclusion of Cook and Sheikh,[1] that a bicycle helmet prevents 60% of head injuries, is incorrect due to a fundamental error in the way they have treated their percentages. A correct analysis demonstrates unequivocally that there must be major confounding factors in their data set that they have failed to take into account, and therefore any estimate of helmet effectiveness is purely speculat...

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  • The DGU Controversy
    Paul Gallant

    Dear Editor

    We were dismayed to read the recent article by Denton and Fabricius in which they gleaned the magnitude of annual defensive gun use (DGU) from local newspaper accounts.[1] We find the authors’ method of determining DGUs, and their suggestion for a new way to use firearms for self-defense, seriously flawed.

    The authors used the Tribune (Tempe, AZ) as a "daily survey of several million people...

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  • The "Fabricius Method" is not science
    Alan Korwin

    Dear Editor

    Injury Prevention recently explored firearm issues, introducing what might be called the “Fabricius Method” of analysis. Invented by ASU professor William Fabricius with his 12-year-old son John Denton, it works simply enough. They counted gunfire stories in one newspaper, and concluded guns are rarely used for anything good. I imagine many heartily embrace this conclusion.

    Newspaper rep...

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  • Reality Check: Flawed Methodology Fails to Discover Defensive Gun Uses
    Robert C. Solomon, MD, FACEP

    Dear Editor

    The study by Denton and Fabricius [1] uses local newspaper accounts to discover instances of defensive gun use in the Phoenix, Arizona area during a brief period in 1998 and concludes that there are far fewer such occurrences than reported by criminologists who performed nationwide telephone surveys. While telephone surveys are certainly vulnerable to some significant sources of bias, including those re...

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  • Author's reply
    Anne T McCartt

    Dear Editor

    Regarding the eLetter by McCartt and Geary.[1]

    Our study had the specific, stated objective of determining whether New York’s ban on drivers’ use of hand-held phones led to short-term and long-term changes in the use rates of hand-held phones while driving. Our intent was not to assess the relative safety effects of hands-free versus handheld devices. In the discussion, we note that any subs...

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  • Handheld vs Handsfree
    Richard L Hockey

    Dear Editor

    McCartt and Geary in their recent article in IP [1] have glossed over the problem with banning hand held phones in that there is now a large body of evidence showing that there is no safety benefit to be gained from hands free devices ie they are both dangerous. The problem with outlawing handheld but allowing handsfree phones is the implicit message that handsfree is somehow safer. The problem was rec...

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  • Author's reply
    Hester J Lipscomb

    Dear Editor

    We are responding to the inquiry of Mr Freedman about whether we had conveyed our findings to OSHA.[1] The data reported in our article 'Nail gun injuries in residential carpentry: lessons from active injury surveillance'[2] were collected over a three year period. We presented results on several occasions in national meetings where OSHA representatives were in attendance including: the following:...

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  • Policy must be evidence-based to succeed
    Malcolm J Wardlaw

    Dear Editor

    “Policy must be evidence-based to succeed.”

    It is reported [1] that as the rate of helmet use by English cyclists increased by six percentage points from 16% to 22%, the proportion of hospital cases with serious head injuries declined slightly more for cyclists than pedestrians. This is advanced as evidence that cycle helmets prevent 60% of serious head injuries.

    The effectiveness of c...

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  • Impact of injuries attributed to lack of sequential triggers on nail guns on madatory legislation
    Neal Freedman

    Dear Editor

    The following excerpts are taken verbatim from "Making Nail Guns Safer"(Column 239, June 30, 2003) by Mary E. Alexander. Mary E. Alexander, president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA), is a founding partner in the San Francisco law firm of Mary Alexander and Associates, P.C.

    “The International Staple, Nail and Tool Association (ISANTA, the trade group that represents too...

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  • Seatbelt immobilisers
    Tim J Halsey

    Dear Editor

    3500 people die every year in the UK from Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs), 40,000 are seriously injured with over 300,000 further casualties. The financial cost to the NHS is estimated at £3 billion a year.[1]

    Compulsory seat belt wearing is one of the most effective methods of reducing fatal and non-fatal injuries in motor vehicle crashes.[2] Averaged over all crashes, seat belts reduce driver fa...

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